OREANDA-NEWS. In a large telecommunications deal announced at GSMA Mobile World Congress 2015, Zain Group has selected SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) to deliver Big Data and analytics solutions designed to enhance the experience for millions of customers across the Middle East.

Global smartphone connections are set to triple by 2020, when 6 billion of the world’s 9 billion mobile connectio ns will be made via smartphone, according to GSMA Intelligence . In 2020, 80 percent of global smartphone connections will come from develop ing regions, where smartphone connections will grow from one third of all connections in 2014 to 70 percent in 2020.

In the Middle East and Africa, mobile subscriptions will grow by 55 percent between 2014 and 2020, while mobile broadband 3G and 4G networ ks will increase from 20 percent of the total share in 2014 to 85 percent in 2020, according to the most recent Ericsson Mobility Report.

Meeting the broadband needs of customers, Zain Group , a l eading telecommunications provider in the Middle East and Africa with over 44 million customers across eight countries, will deploy Big Data and analytics solutions from SAP across Kuwait , Bahrain and Jordan.

"Mobile devices continue to transform people’s lives across the Middle East and around the world,” said Bill McDermott, CEO, SAP. “The more mobile people become, the greater their demand for personalized, context - aware, real - time solutions to stay connected. In collaborating with SAP, Zain Group will use advanced analytics to help them Run Simple and provide the next generation of mobile services for millions of customers in fast - growth markets.”

As part of the collaboration , Zain Group will deploy the SAP HANA ® platform – based on innovative , real - time analytics software and in - memory computing technology – as well as data mining, social network ing , customer and business intelligence and predictive software solutions.

Scott Gegenheimer, CEO , Zain Group , said, “In our drive to become an integr ated digital lifestyle operator, Zain needs to reduce complexity in its current IT setup, enhance its overall customer experience through an actionable real - time analytical platform and gain better market insi ght to open new revenue streams . This tie - up wi th SAP intends to support our ambitions.”

On his part, Mohammed Zainalabedin, General Manager of Zain Bahrain said, “As one of the leading operator in the country offering nationwide 4G services, we recognize the need to be agile to meet our customers’ ever - increasing demand for digital services. Cooperating with SAP to better understand our customers will ensure that Zain Bahrain re mains at the forefront of technology, providing our customers with a superior telecom experience.”

Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan are all labeled as “fast growth” markets according to GSMA Intelligence, with a combined 20.3 million mobile connections. Mobile broadband penetration is strong in all three, including 74 percent in Kuwait, 49 percent in Bahrain and 42 percent in Jordan.

Among Arab countries, Bahrain ranks third, Jordan sixth and Kuwait seventh in the World Economic Forum’s Networked Readiness Inde x 2014, which measures the performance of information and communications technology in economies.

Worldwide, telecom solutions from SAP enable 17 million people to work from any location on any mobile device, while mobile services from SAP deliver 1.8 bil lion text messages every day.

Photo caption (from left to right): Hisham Allam, Chief Technology Officer, Z ain Group, Scott Gegenheimer, CEO of Zain Group, Rick Costanzo, Executive Vice President and Gen eral Manager of Global Mobility at SAP, Mohammed Zainalabedin, General Manager of Zain Bahrain, Hamad Al Rumaihi, Zain Bahrain N etwork Director , and Sherif Hamouda, Vice President for Telecommunications and Mobility for SAP in the Middle East, Turkey and Pakistan.

About SAP

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business in sight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP ® applications and services enable more than 2 82 , 0 00 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably.

About Zain Group

Zain Group ( Kuwait Stock Exchange: ZAIN) is a leading telecommunications operator across the Middle East and Africa providing mobile voice and data services to over 44.3 million active customers as of December 31 , 2014. With a commercial presence in eight countries, Zain operates in Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and South Sudan. In Lebanon, the Group manages ‘touch’ on behalf of the government. In Morocco, Zain has a 15.5 percent stake in Wana Telecom, now branded ‘INWI , ’ through a joint venture.